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History

Built in 1830s, Padmini Nivas is one of the oldest estates in Mussoorie, originally built by Mrs. Ann Ross. It subsequently changed hands several times before it was bought by an Australian brewer who named it Rushbrooke Estate, probably because there was then a stream passing through the property.

The name ‘Rushbrooke’ can still be read on the flagstone at the entrance to the main building. When the last British owner Mr. Charles Mair Gregory, put the property for sale in 1925. He had a booklet printed describing the property, building furniture’s and fixtures. Some of that furniture still remains is its original place.

 

The then Maharaja of Rajpipla, Shri Sir Vijaysinhji Chhatrasinhji , bought the property at the 1925 sale and renamed it Padmini Nivas after his wife Maharani Padmini Kuverba Sahiba who was the princess 0f Panna. Maharaja Vijaysinhji had won many titles and medals from the British Empire, and was entitled to a 13-gun salute, a high honour salute - a high honour for Indian princes in the Raj era.

 

 

Maharaja Vijaysinhji was a fine polo player as well as a race- horse breeder. One of his horses won the Aspen Derby in the presence of the King and Queen of England. He passed away in 1951, leaving many of his properties including Padmini Nivas to his second wife, Maharani Padmini Kuverba.

Maharani Padmini was known for her beauty and was a socialite. Parties at Padmini Nivas used to be the talk of the town. At one such parties the largest diamond from Panna was brought and displayed in Padmini Nivas.

The present owners bought Padmini Nivas in 1964 from Maharani Padmini Kuverba. It was originally purchased as a summer family getaway and was converted into a hotel in 1979.

The family-run hotel has not changed the name of the estate, and it still remains Padmini Nivas. Maintained and restored with care it retains its old-world atmosphere, a charming mix of Raj era architecture and luxury of princely lifestyles – while adding modern conveniences.